The National, Thursday 06th of March, 2014
By HENRY MORABANG
HEKARI United’s campaign at the 2014 Oceania Football Confederations Champions League tournament in Fiji was strengthened with the return of Pita Bolaitoga, pictured right, and Brian Kaltak, pictured far right.
Team manageress Vonnie Kapi Natto announced the latest acquisitions as part of Hekari’s build up to the regional event to be stage jointly in Lautoka and Ba, Fiji..
“Bolaitoga informed the club that he would be available as of this weekend, and he would be joined by Brian, Jean’s elder brother for the Reds,” Kapi Natto said.
She said the other imports, Tuimasi Manuca, Taniela Waqa (Fiji), Jean Kaltak, (Vanuatu) Tutzama Tanito, Nicholas Muri, Joachim Waroi (Solomon Islands) have settled in well at Hekari.
The national champions are following the formula of recruiting talent to bolster the local roster.
This brought them success in the past when they won the league in 2010 and made FIFA’s World Club Cup tournament.
According to Kapi Natto the key to advancing deep into the Champions League will be beating hosts Ba on their own turf.
Despite the departure of Manuca (Hekari), Malakai Tiwa and Alvin Singh (Australia), Ba, who are the Fiji champions, are expected to field a formidable line-up at home in front of partisan support.
Kapi Natto said she would demand loyalty from all overseas and local players when taking part in premier competitions like the OFC’s Champions League.
“We expect nothing less then 100% commitment and focus from all our players, local and overseas,” Kapi Natto said.
She also encouraged Hekari’s local contingent step up their performances in the coming weeks in preparation for the challenge ahead in Fiji. “Last year, our local players struggled in the champions league forcing us to call in reinforcements from Vanuatu and Fiji.”